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Singing with banjo

Posted by dennism on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

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My plan is to chronicle my efforts to learn to sing and accompany myself on the banjo.

     0-- I might not be good at keeping up a blog, I'm a first class cheapskate, I hate buying something on the net that isn't as described

     0-- I'm not intuitive about the banjo, I have a lousy memory, I read music and tabs, I need simple solutions

I did some research and decided that I wanted to learn to accompany my voice with a 5-string banjo and that I needed base my playing on the clawhammer style. So eighteen months ago I bought a beat up banjo and have been have a lot of fun learning how to play it.

Nothing personal, I'm really not interested in jamming, especially jamming songs that no one has ever heard (except the other jammers).

Head slap. I found out that it extremely difficult to sing and play at the same time. I'm not intuitive about the banjo and I like simple solutions. I bought a Cathy Fink CD the other day that promised to teach me.

My takeaway from the CD is that I ought to tune to "standard C" also known as "drop C." gCGBD. Some of the chords are easier, and also, tunes in "C" are closer to the range of my voice, and most everyone's.

Another head slap. I've search the internet for a chord chart in standard C and am coming up dry. I think I might be able to find a plectrum chart in CGBD and make do. I've read that the old Pete Seeger book used a lot of gCGBD. It must have a good "C" chord chart. I hate to buy it.

Please leave comments. Let's be friends.




3 comments on “Singing with banjo”

pickn5 Says:
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 @5:04:15 AM

Check your local public library system. I found Pete Seeger's book in my local system a few years back.

carlb Says:
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 @5:11:01 AM

For my chord charts in a number of different tunings, including double D, check my pictures (2 of them; published years ago in the Old Time Herald). As far as singing goes, the key you should play in is the best one for your voice. I often sing tunes in other then the traditional keys for that reason. Three examples are (usual key/singing key): Year of Jubilo (D/G), Whistling Rufus (G/C) and Big Bend Gals (G/D).

Brentk5s Says:
Thursday, November 6, 2014 @8:20:14 AM

I am eager to hear how this goes for you. I love to sing and I love to play, but both together. I have not been able to make that happen... yet. I am also working on it!

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